Speaker: Professor Arieh Saposnik
Program Series: Jewish Enrichment
Location: Kehilat Shalom, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Date: Monday, April 9, 2018
"If the Jews wish to become a nation of 'Jewish Culture,'" Eliezar Ben-Yehuda wrote in 1904, "they must first become truly a nation."
Throughout the subsequent decade, Ben-Yehuda and other Zionist activists in Palestine attempted to transform a small, divided, economically depressed and demographically declining Yishuv into the foundation of a modern state. The new "Hebrew" culture they sought to create encompassed everything from the way the Yishuv Zionists dressed, the art they created and the literature they read, to the holidays they celebrated, the language they spoke and the accent with which they spoke it. Politics, economics, and even medicine were mobilized to become dynamic parts of a new Jewish identity.
In this lecture Professor Saposnik sheds new light on this transformation - the origins of Israel and Israeli culture.
Speaker: Dr. Christof Koch
Rabbinic Response: Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt
Program Series: The Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman Distinguished Scholar Series
Location: Adas Israel Congregation, Washington, DC
Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2018
A top neuroscientist's stimulation explanation of the physical qualities of consciousness, followed by a distinguished rabbi's response on how that science might relate to descriptions of spiritual encounters with the Divine in traditional and contemporary Jewish writings.
Speaker: Rabbi Lee Levine
Program Series: Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman Distinguished Scholar Series
Location: Ohr Kodesh Congregation, Chevy Chase, MD
Date: November 21, 2017
The study of ancient Jewish art is a relatively new field fueled by ongoing archaeological discoveries. Only in Late Antiquity (third to seventh centuries CE) did Jewish art begin to flourish in a dramatic fashion. By the Byzantine era (fourth to seventh centuries CE), religious symbols, biblical motifs and even clearly pagan mythological motifs - especially the zodiac signs and the image of Helios - graced many synagogue mosaic floors in ancient Palestine.
This lecture focuses on the political, social and religious reasons for such a dramatic change, and likewise addresses the variety of ways Jewish communities, which were wholly autonomous and diverse, grappled with such developments.